Peter Gehres asked a great question on Facebook a few years ago.
To paraphrase, he asked …
“I wonder how one’s social media presence and activity may affect contract auctioneering and overall auctioneer etiquette?”
Peter suggested there were basically five types of auctioneer posters on Facebook, and I’ve added a few more here:
- Lurkers: Auctioneers who check or look at Facebook often, but just look, read and don’t respond or post anything. They know they aren’t going to get hired, and thus act even more recalcitrant.
- Trolls: Auctioneers who post deliberately provocative messages to Facebook and other sites with the sole intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.
- Spammers: Auctioneers who post anything and everything about their lives … where they are eating, what gym they are working out in, what beach they are on, what the view from their chair, car or office looks like, or any picture at all — if no picture has been posted in the last 17 minutes …
- Never-posters: Auctioneers who are too busy doing auctions and/or can’t post from their flip phone.
- Drama-posters: Auctioneers who want attention. Sometimes post 10, 15, or 20 times a day and don’t leave any detail out (and/or falsify details.) Or, in some cases post just “teases” and leave out details (I’ve had the worst day of my life!) They think the more they share, the more important they are.
- Misinformed-posters: Auctioneers who post incredibly inaccurate or false information concerning the auction industry or current events. Basically, auctioneers who don’t know enough to know they don’t know. For instance, references to strictly satirical sites such as The Daily Current or the like, representing their reports as true.
- My-way-or-the-highway posters: My political party is right and yours is wrong and my view of the 2nd Amendment is right, and yours is wrong, and my view of a particular auction treatise is right, and yours is wrong … basically, you’ve got two choices: Agree with me or be wrong.
- Conversationalists: Auctioneers who post original, relevant, interesting, funny, moving, engaging, and/or generally something worth reading and worthy of a response.
As I think about these eight types of Facebook posters, here’s my advice for the lurkers, trolls, spammers, never-posters, drama-posters, misinformed-posters, and the my-way-or-the-highway posters: Try being a conversationalist poster. You’ll have a better chance of being hired as a contract auctioneer by other auctioneers on Facebook.
Some drama-posters, spammers and my-way-or-the-highway posters have reported being hired due to their Facebook and other social media postings. Yet, in interviewing several of the conversationalists posters, they have also secured a good number of contract jobs — consulting with large auction firms and law firms, contract auctioneer work across the United States and invitations to speak on some pretty big stages.
It seems important to keep in mind: That one post that prompted that one auctioneer to call might have discouraged 50 others from ever calling.
Just as Peter noted, I would probably be considered in almost any one of these groups at times, but I certainly endeavor to be a conversationalist — but only if that includes notifying my friends of what I’m eating for dinner and what hotel I’m in and what city I’m in when traveling as an auctioneer.
If this subject appears odd, it seems to me no more odd than asking if how auctioneers act when with each other after hours at an auctioneer convention could impact their ability to be hired. It’s obvious that such interactions would play a role in such decisions.
It turns out Old Dominion University did a study titled Incremental Validity of Social Media Ratings to Predict Job Performance that showed:
- “Not only are the personality traits inferred from someone’s Facebook profile a significant predictor of their job performance, but these correlations are stronger than those between the results of the self-reported personality test and job performance.”
In other words, you are more so what you post on Facebook than what you otherwise tell me you are? Seems so. And given that conclusion, maybe a good time to review your Facebook posting policy?
Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College of Business, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School and Faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University.